On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel (Random House Large Print)

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Named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Oprah.com, Huffington Post, The A.V. Club, Nylon, The Week, The Rumpus, The Millions, The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, and more
Poet Ocean Vuong's debut novel is a shattering portrait of a family, a first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born -- a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam -- and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one's own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.

With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.

3 comments on “On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous: A Novel (Random House Large Print)”

  1. Stunningly beautiful use of language The book assumes you can keep up. It is harsh In the way The Kite Runner or Birds without Wings is harsh. Emotionally difficult reading but worth the journey.

  2. A wondrous book In 2010 Ocean Vuong offered his first collection of poems – BURNINGS – and this reviewer wrote the following: ‘It is very difficult to read the poetry of Ocean Vuong: he gets inside the marrow and hides there for even a few moldy moments of memories that we've tried to erase. Perhaps not for everyone, this response. Likely for most these poems he collectively and intuitively titles BURNINGS will be simply the virtuosic, luminous constructions of a vividly experienced/inherited life. Ocean Vuong...

  3. Poetry in Prose with an incredible storyline I love Ocean Vuong's poetry and it was very interesting to read his work in this form. Very interesting story of a Vietnamese family recovering from the history of war and immigrating to America as well as the discovery of one's sexuality and the opioid crisis...grief, loss, what makes us human. Well worth reading.

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